[Danae’s Story] Chapter 1

“My name is Stella Strafkou writer of this story and I will be posting this story on RoyalRoad.com”

Translation from greek to english: georgiaath

Illustration: Ertion Selimi

A year later

“Let’s take a photo sweety! People will go crazy and the reactions will be countless!”

“Ntina, come on now… Don’t waste your enthusiasm, you’ll need it tomorrow for Nick’s birthday. Today we just went out for a coffee, to see you a bit and to learn all about this new guy; what’s his name again?”

“Danae, my dear, he may be the one and only and you don’t even remember him? You will meet him tomorrow once and for all! I don’t want to bother you with the details!”

What should I tell her? That I’m tired of all this? That everyone she talks about is the one and only? That I have my own problems? I laugh and I tell her that I can’t wait to meet him.

While leaving, I realize that Ntina is doing nothing wrong. There are many “one and only” out there and you just have to find yours. Ntina turned thirty two months ago, she has a stable job as a realtor and she now wants to find her partner for life. To be more accurate, this is her only plan. She is on a “schedule”, as she says. I give ten days to each guy… If they can manage to impress me, we continue seeing each other, but if not, he has to go back to his mother! I do not pay much attention to her words. I know she does not mean all that – at least not 100 percent. She is a very emotional person, who has gone through a lot and has many defenses. Like all of us after all.  

Me? I am fine… and I mean it. I left my previous job since it did not fulfill me anymore, even though they offered me a promotion and more money and a position that only a few people at the age of twenty seven had achieved. It’s been two months since I am not doing anything and the reason for that is that when I finished my studies at the age of twenty two, I immediately got a job. I have been in front of a computer since then, having countless meetings with my supervisors to get things in order. 

My condition? I feel a lot better. My doctor helps me a lot and I have improved significantly the way I think. But there’s still a long way ahead. Neither of us can be certain about whether or not we can mend the wound, or if it may actually get bigger if it gets triggered. For now though, life does not wait; it keeps on moving. And that’s what I also do. 

I’m here… I’m a little late but the traffic was crazy, I tell myself and I ring the bell. I hear happy barks from the inside and heavy steps. It’s times like this that I feel bad for the people who live in the apartment downstairs. 

“Danae, you are late and the food is ready.”

“Hi, dad. Is it what I think it is? Pizza for today again?”, I tell him while laughing. 

He laughs too while his dog, Max welcomes me with his tail that looks like a feather duster. My dad is a writer and has his own hideaway. A small apartment in an area that’s ten minutes away from the city and our home. During periods like this one, he gets out of the house in the morning and devotes himself to his books and his studies until late in the evening, when my mom is waiting for him for their standard dinner. 

“Don’t tell your mother… she will whine again! It will be our secret.”

I laugh, since this has always been my dad’s characteristic line. We share many secrets, but never for too long. My mom always understands what’s going on and confronts us about it.

I like dad’s apartment… it is a small one-bedroom apartment filled with books and notes. He has even gotten a small bed for naps in the afternoon, but it is usually occupied by Max. While talking, I tell my dad about my decision. 

“I don’t mind. I think it’s very important to give back to people. As long as it does not affect you and your condition. Do you know what I mean?”

“Yes dad, I understand. I talked about it with my doctor and he thinks that it will offer me knowledge, creative occupations and the chance to meet new people.”

“So now you just have to tell your mom.”

“She won’t be happy about it… What should I tell her? That I am going away to study psychology in order to voluntarily help other people in the future?”

“Yes, something like that, my love…”, my dad replies. 

I am going home. I took this decision three months ago, when I told my doctor that I did not like my job anymore and that I wanted to do something different. Something that had meaning and not numbers and machines.

“You are still young. Why don’t you study something different?”, he asked. 

“Like what? I liked psychology when I was younger, but I chose the field of business administration.”

“Psychology is an important field. Sometimes it’s even more important than the field of psychiatry. You should know that these two fields work hand in hand sometimes in order to help a patient get back on their feet.”

“I thought they were competitor….”, I said, having in mind things I heard in the past. 

“Some people believe that they are and they support this idea. I am not one of them. I would gladly collaborate with a psychologist in order to help a patient of mine. You could be that!”, he says while smiling. 

The phone rings, it’s Ntina. 

“Hey, my dear! I called to tell you that I kicked this guy out too… He didn’t want to come to the party tomorrow, can you believe it? I want my man to be social and up for anything. He said it was too early… Ah, what did I get into? Completely absurd! So, I have to hang up now… I need to find out my makeup and outfit for tomorrow! Nick knows many people…. You never know. And I’m not talking just about me! Bye!”, she hangs up and I laugh uncontrollably. 

Ah Ntina… I’ll miss you!

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